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Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2015 Mar-Apr;33(2 Suppl 89):S-32-5. Epub 2014 Dec 1.

Serum cytokine profiles in Takayasu's arteritis: search for biomarkers.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Rheumatology, Marmara University, School of Medicine, Turkey.
Department of Physiology, Istanbul University, Istanbul Faculty of Medicine, Turkey.



Assessment of disease activity is one of the major difficulties in patients with Takayasu arteritis (TAK) during follow-up. To date, no biomarker is universally accepted to be a surrogate for active disease in TAK. In this study, we aimed to investigate levels of various pro-and anti-inflammatory molecules including serum granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), interleukin (IL)-6, IL-8, IL-10, IL-18 and IL-23 in patients with TAK.


The study included 51 patients (age: 40.6±12.2 years, F/M: 45/6) with TAK and 42 age- and sex-matched healthy controls (age: 38.1±7.4 years, F/M: 38/4). All patients fulfilled the criteria of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR). TAK patients were evaluated by physician's global assessment (PGA; active/inactive) and ITAS2010 (Indian Takayasu Arteritis Clinical Activity Score) in terms of clinical activity in baseline and follow-up visits. Commercial enzyme linked immuno-sorbent assay (ELISA) kits were used for measurements of serum cytokine levels.


At baseline, 21 (41.2%) patients were active according to PGA and 8 (15.7%) according to ITAS2010. Serum IL-6, IL-8 and IL-18 levels were significantly higher in patients with TAK, whereas GM-CSF, IL-10, IL-23 levels were similar to healthy controls. IL-8 significantly decreased in the follow-up, associated with a decrease of clinical activity, whereas IL-23 level significantly increased. When assessed by ITAS2010 active patients had significantly higher IL-18 levels.


We found significantly increased IL-6, IL-8 and IL-18 levels in patients with TAK compared to healthy controls. Only IL-18 level was significantly higher in active patients assessed by ITAS2010. IL-18 was also the only cytokine in our study that correlated with CRP. These findings suggest that cytokines associated with neutrophilic, pro-inflammatory responses such as IL-6, IL-8 and IL-18 can be potential biomarkers for the assessment of disease activity in TAK and warrant further studies in larger series.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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